A new hazard for children: Hair straightener burns

An injury prevention group in Ireland has sounded an alarm over burns from hair straighteners for children. The Children’s Hospital noted that 17 children three months to nine years attended A&E (ERs) in 2009-10 with hair straightener burns, 9% of the 187 children who had “thermal injuries”  that year. Apparently some retailers are refusing to sell straighteners aimed at children because they are  “often brightly coloured and decorated with pictures” and so appear to be a toy. A  campaign was  launched at the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children earlier this year, following a rise in the number of children attending A&E with hair straightener burns. Hair straighteners can reach temperatures above 200 degrees and can take as long as 40 minutes to cool down. The Home Accident Prevention Group says horrific burn injuries can occur very quickly to children. The most common location for a child to sustain a serious hair straightener burn is on the hand, but injuries have also been sustained to the head, arm and foot. Editor: I am not sure what the status of these products are in North America. Does anyone know?

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